Learning and envisioning under climatic uncertainty: An African experience

Petra Tschakert, Kathleen Dietrich, Ken Tamminga, Esther Prins, Jen Shaffer, Emma Liwenga, Alex Asiedu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Learning about and embracing change and uncertainty are essential for responding to climate change. Creativity, critical reflection, and cogenerative inquiry can enhance adaptive capacity, or the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to adverse future impacts. However, precisely how learning about change and its driving forces occurs and how experiences are combined with envisioned yet indefinite prospects of the future are poorly understood. We present two linked methodological tools-an assessment of drivers of change and participatory scenario building-used in a climate change adaptation project in Ghana and Tanzania (ALCCAR). We discuss opportunities and challenges of such iterative learning. Our findings suggest that joint exploration, diverse storylines, and deliberation help to expand community-based adaptation repertoires and to strike a balance between hopelessness and a tendency to idealize potential future realities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1049-1068
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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